The Blockbuster Fall Nail Guide
We need you all to take a moment and recognize the importance of what is happening right now: Fall nail colors are starting to roll out this very second.
If this didn’t cause you to jump around in frenzied delight, then this is not the article for you. If you did, well, you’re among kindred spirits — we are freaking out over all of the amazingness that is happening in the polish world. For this year’s iteration of our annual super-sized guide to all things nails, we had a tough time narrowing things down — there were just too-many covet-worthy colors to choose from. In the end, we managed to whittle it down to 10 cool trends that really stood out to us — a mixture of old favorites and some disarmingly cool new innovations.
These polishes are so breathtaking, you’re going to wish you had extra fingers to paint.
There’s something so inherently beautiful about the halo effect created when an oil slick gleams on top of water. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who were weirdly drawn to this less-than-glamorous inspiration, as there’s been a burst of duo-chromes whose sole goal is to mimic that exact effect. We like seeing it in unexpected colors, like ivory and purple, alongside the usual golden-green suspects we all know and love.
FROM LEFT: FINGER PAINTS NAIL COLOR IN BOMBSHELL, $5.29, AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER AT SALLY BEAUTY SUPPLY; ESSIE NAIL POLISH IN FOR THE TWILL OF IT, $8, AVAILABLE AT ESSIE; FORMULA X FOR SEPHORA THE SHIFTERS IN ICONIC, $12.50, AVAILABLE IN OCTOBER AT SEPHORA; OPI NAIL LACQUER IN MUIR MUIR ON THE WALL, $9, OPI FOR SALONS; SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE NAIL LACQUER IN BLUE TURQUOISE, $10, AVAILABLE AT SEPHORA; ILLAMASQUA NAIL VARNISH IN HEMLOCK, $17, AVAILABLE AT BLOOMINGDALE’S; OPI NAIL LACQUER IN PEACE & LOVE & OPI, $9, OPI FOR SALONS.
Texture On Top
Textured nails are having a serious moment this year, with finishes like sand, concrete, and sea salt (just to name a few) majorly upping our polish game. Next up: graffiti. Multi-colored, matte glitters in a variety of sizes, suspended in a complementary base hue helps create the illusion of intricately painted nail designs. Minimal effort for maximum impact? We fail to see the downside here.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: FORMULA X FOR SEPHORA THE XPLOSIVES IN TNT, CHAOTIC, BIONIC, BOMBSHELL, AND BOOM, $12:50 EACH, AVAILABLE IN OCTOBER AT SEPHORA.
Pastel purple is kind of a prissy color, making us think mostly of tea parties and the Easter bunny. But, add a bit of slate gray or metallic chrome, and suddenly, this ultra-girly color has a little bit of edge that makes it chic, daring, and the polar opposite of your preteen sister’s favorite shade.
FROM TOP LEFT: TOM FORD BEAUTY NAIL LACQUER IN BLACK SUGAR, $32, AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER AT SAKS FIFTH AVENUE; DIOR VERNIS IN DESTIN, $24, AVAILABLE AT DIOR; DERMELECT ME PEPTIDE-INFUSED NAIL COLOR TREATMENT IN SOPHISTICATE, $14, AVAILABLE AT DERMELECT; ILLAMASQUA NAIL VARNISH IN FACET, $17, AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER AT BLOOMINGDALE’S; RICKY’S NYC RICKYCOLOR NAIL POLISH IN GRADE PENDING, $6.50, AVAILABLE AT RICKY’S NYC; ROCOCO NAIL APPAREL NAIL POLISH IN PONY CLUB, $16.50, AVAILABLE ATSPACENK; PRITI NAIL POLISH IN PAPER BIRCH, $13.50, AVAILABLE AT PRITI; ESTÉE LAUDER PURE COLOUR NAIL LACQUER IN STEEL ORCHID, $20, AVAILABLE AT NORDSTROM.
This vampy hue is, in a phrase, sex on a stick. Lush, decadent, and downright delectable, the fusion of dark brown and racy red creates a deep and mysterious shade that practically oozes sex appeal, but with a quiet sophistication to it. We’re currently on the hunt for the perfect lipstick to match, because a color this traffic-stopping deserves to be shared.
FROM LEFT: JIN SOON NAIL LACQUER IN JASPER, $18, AVAILABLE AT JIN SOON; MINT NAIL POLISH IN FULL BODIED, $12, AVAILABLE AT MINT; DERMELECT ME PEPTIDE-INFUSED NAIL COLOR TREATMENT IN FEROSH, $14, AVAILABLE AT DERMELECT.
It happens every fall like clockwork: The temperature starts to drop, and suddenly, teal manicures are everywhere. We’re waiting for The Weather Channel to do an investigative report on this phenomenon. Or, maybe these scientists are free — seems right up their alley.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: CHINA GLAZE NAIL LACQUER IN TONGUE & CHIC, $5.49, AVAILABLE AT SALLY BEAUTY; MACNAIL LACQUER IN SCREENING ROOM, $16, AVAILABLE AT MAC; GINGER + LIZ NAIL LACQUER IN NO WORRIES, $12, AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER AT GINGER + LIZ; SALLY HANSEN COMPLETE SALON MANICURE IN NEW WAVE BLUE, $7.99, AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER AT DRUGSTORE.COM.
Just when we think we’re done with glitter, we catch a glimpse of yet another sparkly polish and lose our damn minds over it. Our inner magpies are freaking out over these stunning sparklers, which feature multiple shades and sizes of glitz suspended in some truly breathtaking base colors. We don’t care how much of a pain it is to remove — we’re never giving up our razzle-dazzle digits.
FROM TOP LEFT: NAILS INC. GALAXY NAIL POLISH IN TRAFALGAR CRESCENT, $11, AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER ATSEPHORA; DEBORAH LIPPMANN NAIL LACQUER IN SHAKE YOUR MONEY MAKER, $19, AVAILABLE AT DEBORAH LIPPMANN; FORMULA X BY SEPHORA THE SPARKLERS IN LAW OF ATTRACTION, $12.50, AVAILABLE IN OCTOBER ATSEPHORA; SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE NAIL LACQUER IN JAFFA ORANGE, $10, AVAILABLE AT SEPHORA;DEBORAH LIPPMANN NAIL LACQUER IN GLITTER AND BE GAY, $19, AVAILABLE AT DEBORAH LIPPMANN.
No, our cats didn’t get loose on our keyboards again — this is what happens when royal blue meets sultry purple, i.e. blue + purple = blurple. Bright, bold, and definitely not run-of-the-mill, this hybrid shade is never quite one or the other. Got to keep ’em guessing, right?
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: GINGER + LIZ NAIL LACQUER IN PUT IT IN WRITING, $12, AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER ATGINGER + LIZ; DEBORAH LIPPMANN NAIL LACQUER IN VA VA VOOM, $19, AVAILABLE AT DEBORAH LIPPMANN;NICOLE BY OPI MODERN FAMILY NAIL LACQUER IN WHAT’S THE MITCH-UATION, $6.67, AVAILABLE ATDRUGSTORE.COM; CHINA GLAZE NAIL POLISH IN QUEEN B, $7, AVAILABLE AT CHINA GLAZE; NCLA NAIL POLISH IN DEAD-END GORGEOUS, $16, AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER AT NCLA; JIN SOON NAIL LACQUER IN AZURITE, $18, AVAILABLE AT JIN SOON.
Fun With Fuchsia
We’re stoked to see one of our favorite summer shades get a second life for fall. Bright fuchsia helps perk up the season’s more subdued color palette, adding a much-needed shot of youth and levity to your ensemble.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: NCLA NAIL POLISH IN LAUREL CANYON LOLITA, $16, AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER AT NCLA;MAC NAIL LACQUER IN REBEL, $16, AVAILABLE AT MAC; ESSIE NAIL POLISH IN THE LACE IS ON, $8, AVAILABLE ATESSIE; BUTTER LONDON NAIL LACQUER IN PISTOL PINK, $15, AVAILABLE AT BUTTER LONDON; DIOR VERNIS IN GALAXIE, $24, AVAILABLE AT DIOR.
We’ll admit that nude nails aren’t usually our jam, but this cool take on ho-hum neutrals has us reconsidering. We blame Alexander Wang and his sandstone mani for the current crop of sandy beiges, trench-coat khakis, bronzes, and army greens that are literally everywhere right now. Screw the oasis — we’re doing just fine hanging out on the dunes.
FROM TOP LEFT: FORMULA X FOR SEPHORA THE NEW CLASSICS NAIL COLOR IN ANOMALY (DARK KHAKI), $10.50, AVAILABLE IN OCTOBER AT SEPHORA; PIXI NAIL COLOUR IN PRECIOUS PEWTER (METALLIC OLIVE), $8, AVAILABLE AT TARGET; NCLA NAIL POLISH IN THE SPA COMES TO ME! (LIGHT GREEN), $16, AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER AT NCLA;SALLY HANSEN COMPLETE SALON MANICURE IN LODEN GREEN (DARK GREEN), $7.99, AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER AT DRUGSTORE.COM; FINGER PAINTS NAIL COLOR IN WHAT A BEAUT (GOLDEN COPPER), $5.29, AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER AT SALLY BEAUTY SUPPLY; CHANEL LE VERNIS NAIL COLOUR IN ALCHIMIE (GOLDEN GREEN), $27, AVAILABLE AT CHANEL.
What can we say? A classic is called that for a reason. Expect to see old-school, glossy scarlets make a big comeback for fall. There’s a simplicity that mingles with a sexiness that makes this old standby damn near irresistible. Pair it with, well, everything — you really can’t go wrong with this retro-cool color.
FROM LEFT: DIOR VERNIS IN TRAFALGAR, $24, AVAILABLE AT NEIMAN MARCUS; NAILS INC. GEL EFFECT POLISH IN ST. JAMES, $14, AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER AT SEPHORA; MARC JACOBS BEAUTY ENAMORED HI-SHINE LACQUER IN LOLA, $18, AVAILABLE AT SEPHORA; RICKY’S NYC RICKYCOLOR NAIL POLISH IN RENT CONTROLLED, $6.50, AVAILABLE AT RICKY’S NYC; SALLY HANSEN COMPLETE SALON MANICURE IN PERFECTLY POPPY, $7.99, AVAILABLE IN SEPTEMBER AT DRUGSTORE.COM.
By MEGAN MCINTYRE, originally published on Refinery29